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«The mask doesn’t stop pollen»

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«The mask doesn’t stop pollen»

“Dammed Spring” for Millions of Italians Suffering from Seasonal Allergies

Italy – As spring blossoms across Italy, millions of Italians are finding themselves knocked out by pollen, triggering a wave of seasonal allergies. Stuffed and runny noses, sneezing, difficulty breathing, discomfort, itching, and tearful eyes are just some of the common symptoms experienced during this time of year.

Allergist Domenico Schiavino, former director of the Allergy Service of the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, has warned that while wearing a mask can be helpful, it may not completely protect against pollen. The tiny size of pollen particles allows them to easily penetrate the fabric of masks. However, Schiavino notes that wearing a mask is still better than nothing for those who must spend time outdoors.

One individual, Jenna, shared her story of living with mast cell activation syndrome, where she is allergic to 100 different substances and can only consume 8 foods. For those struggling with asthma, rhinitis, and coughs, the arrival of spring can feel like a continuous battle against allergies.

The onset of cypress, grasses, and parietaria pollen during this period exacerbates symptoms for allergy sufferers. Parietaria pollen, in particular, is highlighted as a major allergen due to its small size and long pollination period from March to November.

To combat allergies, Schiavino recommends using antihistamines, cortisone-based sprays, anti-inflammatory eye drops, and nasal wash solutions. For individuals experiencing pulmonary complications or asthma, prompt treatment is crucial to alleviate symptoms.

In terms of prevention, Schiavino stresses the importance of seeking allergy tests to identify specific allergens and determine appropriate treatment plans. Even individuals who have never experienced allergies before should remain vigilant, as allergies can develop at any age.

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As the summer season approaches, Schiavino advises allergy sufferers to avoid prolonged outdoor activities in pollen-heavy environments. Keeping windows closed and seeking sheltered spaces can help reduce exposure to allergens.

Despite the challenges posed by seasonal allergies, Schiavino offers hope through personalized treatment plans and preventative measures based on individual diagnoses. By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, allergy sufferers can better navigate the spring season and manage their symptoms effectively.

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